Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan were in Michigan Friday for the Wolverines’ Pro Day, a near-annual stop for the team. While the school has plenty of prospects worth mentioning, Pittsburgh has taken special interest in Michigan DL Mazi Smith. According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, the Steelers held a private meeting with him.
It’s unclear if we can classify it as a “Pro Day dinner” though it’s functionally the same thing. Smith is a big man in the middle with size and length and pedigree. At this year’s Combine, he weighed in at 6’3, 323 pounds with 33 3/4 inch arms. He did not participate in any of the Combine testing, and we don’t yet have any information on what he did at today’s Pro Day.
In our pre-draft scouting report, Ross McCorkle praised Smith for his stoutness in the run game, overall play strength, and heavy hands. However, he noted Smith’s slow get-off, limited pass rush, and lack of consistent pad level as things he needs to work on. Overall, he gave Smith a second-round grade and compared him to Dontari Poe. Smith is only 21 years old, something that’s generally attractive to Pittsburgh, though there are some off-field questions he’ll need to answer.
Here’s how McCorkle summed up Smith’s prospects.
“His floor is high enough against the run to be draftable in the first three rounds, but what teams think about his pass rush will determine how high his stock ultimately gets.
His main areas of opportunity will be improving his anticipation of the snap to increase his get-off speed and working on lowering his pad level to increase leverage and let his upper body strength shine.”
Pittsburgh hasn’t done anything to upgrade its defensive line this offseason. The team did re-sign Larry Ogunjobi to a three-year deal but lacks depth or much in the middle. Tyson Alualu is a free agent who is likely to retire while Montravius Adams is coming off an underwhelming season. Smith could be an anchor in the middle to help the Steelers’ run defense. He’s currently projected as an early Day Two pick and could be in consideration with the Steelers’ 32nd and 49th overall picks.
Other notable Michigan players working out today include CB DJ Turner, C Olu Oluwatimi, and DL/EDGE Mike Morris.
Check out our full report on Smith below.